My name is Amber Cutter and I am 32 years old and I have cerebral palsy. I am non verbal and I use a wheelchair. Even though I may take a while to reply, I fully understand everything. I am a member of The New Vision Advocates (NVA). The vision of this group is to build an effective voice and presence in the community for people with intellectual disabilities through leadership, understanding, education, friendship, acceptance, and belonging. I am happy to be able to share my experiences with others.
Chris Hatton is Professor of Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, and is a former Co-Director of the Public Health England Learning (Intellectual) Disabilities Public Health Observatory. Chris has been involved in research involving people with intellectual disabilities for 30 years, focusing mainly on documenting and understanding the health and social inequalities that people experience and evaluating policy and practice initiatives. Most recently, Chris has been part of a UK-wide project documenting the experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Primary Care Keynote Panel
Karen McNeil MD, CCFP, FCFP (she/her)
Dalhousie Family Medicine
Adult Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Consultant Clinic
Dr. Karen McNeil’s is a family physician with Dalhousie Family Medicine in Halifax NS. Here she takes part in an Adult Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Consultant Clinic, where with Dr Jillian Achenbach, she see’s patients from community at the request of their family doctors.
Dr McNeil took part in the 2018 Canadian Consensus Guidelines and the development of the communication and decision-making tools that support these guidelines. She enjoys teaching residents, medical students and other healthcare professionals about primary care of people with IDD.
Her present research interest involves, barriers and facilitators of the periodic health care checks for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Ullanda Niel MD, CCFP (she/her)
Family Physician, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities & Participation House
Consultant Family Physician, Surrey Place
Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto & Queen’s University
Dr. Ullanda Niel is a Family Physician at the Scarborough Center for Healthy Communities in Toronto and Participation House in Markham. She also works as a consultant Family Physician for Surrey Place and she is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University. She has completed a fellowship in the Primary Care of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities at Queen’s University. She participated in creating The 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines on primary care for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and clinical resources for the transition of youth with intellectual disabilities to adult care and other point of care tools. Through her community health center, she cares for new immigrants, refugees and people with intellectual disabilities/autism including work at an in-school health clinic.
Alicia Thatcher MD, CCFP (she/her/hers)
Contributor/Fellow, Family Medicine Enhanced Skills: Adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, University of Saskatchewan
Board Member, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD)
Alicia Thatcher (MD, CCFP) completed her family medicine residency at the University of Saskatchewan. Her passion for improving healthcare for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities stemmed from her experience working at Camp Easter Seal in high school and volunteering with organizations such as Best Buddies and Special Olympics. She currently serves on the board of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), an organization she’s been involved in for over five years. She has almost completed her training in a new Family Medicine Enhanced Skills program focused on primary care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the University of Saskatchewan – a new training program she created based on her own learning needs and the gaps she identified in her community.
Emcee & Closing Remarks
David Hill Self-Advocate (he/him)
David Hill is a strong advocate for people with developmental disabilities.
He has been a member of the New Vision Advocates (NVA as they are commonly known as) for the past 10 years. He is also a member of the Board of Community Living London and the Board of Community Living Ontario, ensuring that the voices of people with developmental disabilities are heard.
David is an experienced presenter and educator. As a member of NVA, he is very active in speaking to students at Fanshawe College, Kings’ College and at conferences. He is very involved in the Diversity, equality and inclusion council at WFS where he is employed and has shared his story of living with a disability to the business resource guide at WFS.
Vikram Dua MD, FRCP(C)
Consultant, Queen Alexandra Center (Victoria, British Columbia)
Surrey Place Centre (Toronto, Ontario)
Dr. Dua is a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist with interests in complex individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, and systems of care to enhance accessibility to clinical expertise and evidence-based treatments. Dr. Dua has 20 years’ experience developing and implementing innovative dual-diagnosis services in British Columbia and Ontario. He is a consultant at the Queen Alexandra Center, in Victoria, BC, and is also a consultant, and former Medical Director of TRE-ADD at Surrey Place in Toronto. Dr. Dua earned a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, an M.D. from McMaster University, and completed a psychiatry residency at Harvard Medical School, and a fellowship at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Dua is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at University of British Columbia, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is the lead of the Indo-Canadian Autism Network, dedicated to increasing knowledge and capacity for neurodevelopmental services and research in India.